semperfiona: (ampersand)
I am a horrible person but I can't help giggling over the fact that my ex spells "sophomore" as "soft-more".
semperfiona: Picture of a gas cloud in space that looks like an upraised middle finger (fuck you universe)
After 12 years divorced I can still get furiously angry with the ex. Last night I attempted to file my taxes, only to have my returns rejected on the grounds that someone else had already claimed Rosa as a dependent. We've been doing the alternate years thing for 12 years; it ought to be second nature by now. I wanted to strangle him. The difference in my refund between having a dependent to claim and not having her exceeds a thousand dollars! I chose not to even call him until this morning, in the hopes that I'd be able to be civil about it.

So when I called him, he says it's just a mistake and he'll amend his return tonight. Apparently his mother has been doing his taxes for him until 2011, and he's flummoxed by the software?!?! Forty-five years old and he's only been doing his own taxes for three years? Ye gods and little fishies. My mother made me do *hers*--on paper! 1040 long form, itemized mortgage and charitable deductions, and all!--as practice when I was no more than 16, and I've been doing my own returns since my first high school job.

Crossing my fingers that my return goes through without a hitch on the next attempt. I need it, my airtickets for Ambercon are waiting on it!
semperfiona: (aten't dead)
My posting has gone erratic again, but I aten't dead. Although today I rather feel like I am. I seem to have acquired a cold in the last few days. Woke up Wednesday with that burning scratchy feeling in my throat, yesterday was stuffy head sinus headache, and today is hangoverish draggy deadiness. Sneezing minimal, so far, but it's there.

Yesterday was also the annual school orientation/ice cream social, and I met up with Ray and Rosa there. Mostly went okay, except for me blowing up at him in a room full of people when he told a mutual acquaintance '[Fiona] has lost a lot of weight hasn't she'. I told him "Shut up." He said, 'it was a compliment.' I said, "I don't want comments on my appearance from you."

And afterward, I've realized what it was that really got my goat about it. Not just the nonconsensual drawing of attention to me, or the squicky inappropriateness of comments on my appearance coming from my ex. It's that he said it like it was somehow HIS accomplishment. Not a compliment, that would have been said *to* me not *about* me. This sounded like he thinks he gets to share in anything "good" that I achieve.

And that totally ignores the question of whether my losing weight in early 2012 due to a broken heart was a good thing in the first place. I just didn't even want to go there, even with the ambiguous phrasing I've been using of 'relationship stress'. At least the last year of working out is something I wanted and chose for myself.
semperfiona: (flan)
[Poll #1606909]

So I went to the kid's school yesterday for the beginning-of-year teacher conference. Ray had scheduled it for 4:30; I arrived at 4:25 to find him already ensconced in conversation with the teacher. Three guesses which of the above options he chose when I came in.
semperfiona: (Default)
Two weeks ago when I arrived to pick Rosa up from her dad's house, she had been sleeping in a holey T-shirt that used to be her dad's. I said something about it being time to retire the shirt, and he had her put it in their "poor bag" of used clothing.

I complained that it was worn out and should just be either discarded or cut up for rags. He insisted that the receiving organization would sort everything and it should go anyway. I said they'd probably throw out the whole bag if items in it were that tatty.

It still bugs me. I believe there's no honor in donating trash; it's one thing if I can't use it anymore because of size (it doesn't fit anymore) or taste issues (i.e. I'm tired of the color or something) but it's entirely another to use the donation container as an auxiliary rubbish bin.

[Poll #1238277]
semperfiona: (Default)
So I'm caught up with LJ, twitter, email and slacktivist, which makes this the part where I'm supposed to put down the computer and get ready for work. I have assorted garage items I need to find and take with me, too. But a twelve-hour day lies ahead of me and I haven't even had any coffee yet, and I don' wanna! I'll post, instead.

The reason I have to collect the assorted items from my garage is that tomorrow $COMPANY is sponsoring a carnival day for charity. My team, as you might guess if you remember that our aisle is a putting green, is running a chip shot contest.

The reason I have a twelve-hour day ahead is that I volunteered for the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), and the training is after work on Mondays. Must wear comfortable clothes, it's hands-on training. Today is first aid.

***

Yesterday my ex-husband was awarded his master's degree. He invited me to the ceremony, and I went. Commencements are boring as hell, honestly, but I had been supportive of his endeavor where his family often were not, and it seemed like the right thing to do. But UMSL is crazy, scheduling commencement exercises for Mother's Day!

At least we had waffles with strawberries and cream at home first. Nom nom nom.
semperfiona: (rosa crowned)
Rosa made her first communion today. I went to the ceremony/mass at her father's invitation, and also to the get-together afterwards at my ex-in-laws' house. There's something weird and creepy to me about dressing little bitty girls in kid-sized wedding dresses, complete with veils (optional, but all but two girls had them). And why is it the little boys just get suits and ties?

But I have to admit that Rosa did look quite adorable. I noticed right away that the headpiece was the same one I wore for my wedding, which was also the same headpiece from Ray's mother's wedding. The veil wasn't the same one; mine had been ivory. But for one of our anniversaries, the inlaws created a memory shadowbox with a white veil in it. That one, trimmed for her height, is the veil Rosa wore. Her dress was the most ornate of all the little girls.

I have a few pictures from the pew, but no closeups. I planned to take pictures at the house afterward, but by the time I got there she had already stripped out of the fancy dress. Daddy-n-co are going to take her for formal portraits in it; I hope to score one of those.

Anyway. Ceremony. The church completely failed to be struck by lightning due to my presence, and everything went off very well. The best thing about it was that the priest made his homily second-grade-level, for the kids, and walked up and down the aisle with a cordless microphone while he preached it. He asked questions, and the children answered them. He started off by talking about how many different special people were present for this mass, visiting priests, seminarians, etc, and then asked what other special people were there. Rosa was called on for this question, and she said, "Everyone is special but no one is perfect."

I was impressed. I did cynically suspect that the answer was primed, that she was a plant, but as the homily went on and other kids answered other questions with words that were clearly their own, I thought maybe she had thought it up herself. Asked her later and she said it was all her.

The church had printed up a flyer of the kid's letters to Jesus on the occasion of their first communion. Rosa's says
"Dear Jesus, I am a little bit afraid of my First Communion so...It's really good that you are with me all First Communion. I really do not like the taste of the wine. Can you help? Your friend, Rosa"


The after party was quite nice, really. I was worried about tension and so forth, but everyone was welcoming. Youngest brother--whom I probably haven't seen for four years--hugged me. So did Ray, actually.

Ray, however, was on his most obnoxious behavior. He made a remark about how women should always be kept at home. I said, in my brightest cheeriest voice to the room at large, "And now you know why we aren't married anymore!"

Later, he demanded that his mother get him a chair. She told him to get it himself, and he just kept at her about how she should do it. She said, "I'm setting boundaries here. I don't even serve your dad like that, I definitely won't do it for you." Every one else said stuff like good for her and they'd never expect anything like that from their spouse. I said something about there being a difference between mutually helping each other out and expecting service.

Ochi got presents. All her Catholic relatives got her religious-y stuff, a children's bible, a rosary, that kind of thing. I got her dress-up fairy wings that you decorate yourself with the supplied glitter glue, sequins, beads etc. She immediately set herself up at a tray table and fixed the wings up.
semperfiona: (Default)
So this morning, in order to better convenience Ray, we met him in St Peters to do the kid exchange. He forgot her medicine, and said, "I'll be home at 3, you can come by and get it."

So at 3:45, I'm in front of his house and there's no sign of him. I called his cellphone. "Are you going to be home anytime soon?"

"No."

"You said you'd be home at 3."

"I was. It's four now and I just left. I've been home since one o'clock."

When I quoted his statement of the morning back to him, he said, snidely, "You're always so easy to deal with."

Now tell me. When you meet someone somewhere other than their home and they say they'll "be home at" a time, do you understand that to mean leaving home at that time or arriving home at that time?

And why, when we didn't come "in time" by his standards, didn't he call me or just drop the medicine off at our house before going out with his friends?

Contracts

Dec. 15th, 2006 05:51 pm
semperfiona: (Default)
Someone reposted a link to a poly contract today, and I started thinking about my own history with contracts.

Back in 1998, after Ray and I had started having marital issues but were still trying to work them out through counseling, I wanted to attend Ambercon East in Boston (I wanted to meet [livejournal.com profile] devilmuse IRL, as well as do some face-to-face Amber gaming).

He was paranoid that I was going with the intention of cheating on him, and would not accept any of my assurances. The counselor suggested a written contract, and while I felt it unnecessary--not to mention insulting--I went along with it. The contract I wrote up contained exactly one sentence. It said "I promise to honor and respect our marriage during my trip to Boston."

Meanwhile, he had written a long detailed list of all the things I was not allowed to do while away. It included everything from "I will not get a tattoo or piercing" to "I will not engage in [long list of behaviors starting with kissing and going on to sex] with anyone". (He may have specified names; I don't remember.) Anyone who knows me will guess what my reaction to that was: immediate seeking of loopholes and forgotten items. I do not do well with long lists of rules created by someone else to prescribe my behavior.

I can't remember, in the end, which contract got signed, but I think I did actually convince him to use mine. In either case I chose to live by mine: a much more far-reaching document.

What is of course lacking from both of them is any indication of what his responsibilities were. That "wasn't important" at the time, because I was the one who had expressed a desire to open our relationship, so I was the one who had to prove myself.

It's my belief that if you can't trust me without a piece of paper, you won't trust me with one either. This was borne out by the fact that Ray accused me in his annulment testimony of having cheated on him on that very weekend in Boston!
semperfiona: (three)
It's weirding me out that the last two times I've seen Ray, he's been
wearing an Indiana University t-shirt that I bought him six or ten years
ago. I keep wanting to confiscate it. "That's *my* history! You leave it
alone!"

On the other hand, he's quietly begun to accept and acknowledge my
relationship with Chris and Tammie: when filling out paperwork for
Rosa's school on Thursday, he wrote "all parents" rather than "both".
Yesterday he said something about there being a child in Rosa's class
that she'd have something in common with: "he has two mommies".
Apparently he had chatted with the mommies in question after we left the
school orientation.

I said to Tammie, "I *thought* there'd been a lesbian couple that came
in at the very end!"
semperfiona: (sleepy rosa)
Sunday morning, I went to pick up Rosa at her dad's house. She wanted to
wear a particular pair of shoes, but he didn't want to let her. I told
him it was okay if she wore them, it was only to the car, etc. He told
me not to contradict him in front of her.

Whatever, he does it to me all the time. In exactly the same situation,
even.

But what's interesting is Rosa's comments after we had left. She said,
"This seems familiar." I asked for clarification, and she started
talking about when Ray and I broke up. I told her she couldn't possibly
remember that, and she said, "My daddy told me. He said you [and he] had
a fight because you wanted to live with other people and he wanted to
only live with you."

I admit, I don't know whether that was his phrasing or hers. But that
statement manages to tell Rosa about something that's none of her
business, while oversimplifying it to the point that it ceases to be
true.

It's been bothering me for days. I can't see any appropriate way to
respond.
semperfiona: (wander)
December, 1993. Ray and I were living in a rented semi-detached house in Gillingham, Dorset, England. (My inclination was to label it a 'little' house--and it felt little to me--but whenever we had visitors they always commented on how large it was.) I started having a very sharp and intense pain in my left side just behind the lowest ribs. After several nights having to sleep propped up on the sofa, and the pain only getting worse, Ray took me one morning to the emergency center at Shaftesbury Hospital. (It wasn't called "emergency". I can't remember what it was, maybe "accident center", but I remember taking note of another difference in British vs American usage.) They looked me over and took a chest x-ray.

After the chest x-ray showed something ominous, I was booked for another test, this one at Salisbury Hospital since Shaftesbury was not equipped for it. I can't remember what that one was called, but it involved me drinking some radioactive liquid and them looking at my insides with a big machine. Anyway, I went to the hospital in the morning, had the test, and was told, "You're staying here." There was a blood clot in my left lung.

I spent five or seven days in a ward at Salisbury Hospital, the first several of them on enforced bed rest with intravenous heparin. I kept complaining about being on bed rest because the night before I'd come for my test, I'd been out dancing at the wedding reception of Douglas and Wendy Adams. (Not that Douglas Adams, of course.) I'd been lucky, not smart; all that exercise could easily have dislodged the clot and sent it to the heart or the brain, and I wouldn't have been there to whinge about it. A couple days into my stay I had a venogram: dye is injected between the toes and xrayed. There were also clots in my left leg. They kept asking me if I'd had pain in my legs, but I hadn't. Nor had I had any prolonged period of inactivity "such as long airplane flights". The only known risk factor I did have was that I was on the Pill. I had been for years, but I did wonder whether the pills I was getting in the UK were somehow different from the ones I'd had back home. Never did find out. Maybe now with the new tests I'll find out exactly what was going on.

My hospital stay included the day on which we were supposed to fly home to the US for Christmas. I did get out in time for Christmas itself, and we were invited to spend the day with a coworker and her family: Christmas pudding, crackers, silly family games and the whole kit-n-caboodle.

For six months or so afterward, I was on daily doses of warfarin (known in the US by its brand name Coumadin), and made weekly or bi-weekly treks up the hill to Shaftesbury Hospital for blood coagulation testing. I hadn't thought of that little blue-green office for years, until talking to Dr. Paul on Friday brought all this back to me.
semperfiona: (Default)
Nine days? He got a new job and held it for exactly nine days? An organ
grinder's monkey ought to be able to keep a job writing reports for
longer than nine days!

Ketchup

Jul. 8th, 2005 05:39 pm
semperfiona: (Default)
I've not posted much in the last couple of months. It's been insanely
busy here at work, and even more so for me because I've had several days
off in that time. We all went to Iowa over Memorial Day, with an extra
two days off, and then we had a five-day weekend in June as well. We
were going to attend Chris's 20th high school reunion, but decided to
save the money because there really wasn't anyone he wanted to see that
badly. I've finally got a few minutes to spare this afternoon, by virtue
of having worked like mad all day long and ignoring everything except
the goals I gave myself for the day. I still have a couple things due
Monday, but I need a break.

There's not been a great deal of news in that time...Let's see.

Rosa had a relapse of strep throat. Exactly two weeks after her first
diagnosis, she's down with it again. I blame her daddy. She had a
prescription for antibiotics, of course; while she was in his custody
for what should have been the last few days of taking it, she missed
three doses. When I picked her up Sunday morning (this was June 26), he
told me I should give her make-up doses. But we were going straight
(heh) to PrideFest, and the medicine ended up sitting for six hours in a
hot car. It's supposed to be refrigerated. After that I daren't give it
to her. This go-round, though, she's getting all of it if I have to
stand over him to make it happen.

Ray's finally got a job again, after four and a half months of
searching. He was talking about moving out of his house and onto the
UMSL campus to attend full time if something didn't break. Well, just
before he received the confirmation of his student loan qualification,
he got a job. I'm so glad. I have been worried.

Last weekend Tammie and Chris and I went to southern Missouri to visit
her cousin and his husband. They have a lovely piece of land near
Mountain Grove where they're raising puppies. King Charles Cavalier Toy
Spaniels, Pekingese, Shih Tzus, and Schnauzers. As of our visit, there
were eighteen puppies: seven Shih Tzu, seven Pekes--all about ten weeks
old--and four brand-new two-week-old Cavs. We spent part of Saturday
being an outdoor puppy laundry.

Friday night we blew stuff up at Tammie's ex-stepfather's farm. Two
hundred dollars worth of pyrotechnics, gone in about half an hour. But
whee! I never got to do fireworks as a kid; they're completely illegal
in Wisconsin except for small sparklers and those pop-cap things that
you throw at the ground to make them go bang. Even after
moving to Missouri I didn't get the pleasure, until I started spending
time in Washington with C&T. Fireworks are illegal in St. Louis County
and most actual cities and towns but if you're in an unincorporated
area, you're golden. (Or burnt, as the case may be.)

Yesterday [livejournal.com profile] bbwoof took me to Mango, the first (and perhaps
only) Peruvian restaurant in the St. Louis area. It was just as good as
last time, if not better. The food is marvelous, and unlike any
comparison you might try to make, and reasonably priced.

That's the quick version of the last few weeks.
semperfiona: (sleepy rosa)
He actually apologized. On his own volition and without any prompting; almost the first words out of his mouth when he got here this evening. "I want to apologize for my behavior on Sunday morning."

Why yes, it was unconscionable. But I managed to refrain from saying so, and just nodded acknowledgement of the apology.
semperfiona: (Default)
Sunday morning. Ray's supposed to come and get Rosa at ten a.m. But
because we are going to breakfast down in the City, I call him and asked
if he'd like us to bring her to him instead. He says that'd be great,
but please get there before eleven because mass starts at eleven. I
confirm, "Between ten and eleven." Yes, that's right.

So, not surprisingly, our arrival at his house is much closer to eleven
than ten. 10:48, to be precise. I pull up into the street partially
blocking his driveway, on the not-illogical theory that he can't
possibly leave before us anyway. I have to honk my horn, though, because
he is backing his car out without looking.

When I get out of the car, he starts in on me right away. "I was going
to have to leave without you. You're very late. You should have been
here by about ten-thirty, you know mass starts at eleven." I point out
that if he meant ten-thirty he should have said ten-thirty.

Rosa is frightened by his anger and comes and clings to me. He pulls her
off me and tells her to get in the car. I tell him that she has a right
to hugs from Mommy.

I start to go get Rosa's medicine and his Father's Day present and card
that we arranged for him. "I don't have time for that." Tammie gets out
of the car with it all and brings it to him anyway. He thanks her
perfunctorily.

The girl has strep throat. At a minimum he needs the medicine, dammit!

At breakfast, later, [livejournal.com profile] beckyzoole says, "You look tired." No,
pissed off is more like it.
semperfiona: (sleepy rosa)
Ray, and his parents, have a very irritating method of "disciplining" Rosa when she's dilatory about making ready to leave. "Mommy's going to leave without you, Rosa!"

Today, I called him on it. "I don't like you saying that to Rosa."

"It's the logical consequence." (Which is one of those phrases used by some parenting instruction book we read. You know, the punishment should be a logical consequence of the misbehavior.)

"No, it is not. I'm never ever ever going to do that."

"Don't correct me in my house."

"I did not. I said I do not like it." And I don't. It's not just because it's a threat that will never be followed through on, and worse yet a secondhand threat, but it imputes horrid motives to me that are not mine.

I think I'll have to tell him his "logical consequences" threats are not to state anything about *MY* actions.

We win!

Mar. 29th, 2005 11:20 am
semperfiona: (rosa crowned)
Rosa's going to public school next fall. Ray actually felt that the
public school had its act together better, and that the facilities and
specialty offerings were better. He still thought she'd get a better
"morality" education from Catholic school, but the other things seemed
to outweigh that.

With the following conditions: We're to drop her off at school and pick
her up for at least the first year rather than sending her on the bus.
Starting in the first grade she's to go to Public School Religion
classes on Wednesday nights, and to adjust for some of his "lost time" I
start picking her up at eleven on my Sundays rather than nine. I
stipulated that that was a tentative agreement because it's a year and a
half away, but it seems okay. Gives me a chance to go away for the
occasional weekend and not have to come back before the crack of dawn.

So the Christian Witness statement is moot. Whaddya know. Now to
register the girlie for kindergarten and also for the summer school
pre-K introductory session.
semperfiona: (rosa crowned)
I just can't get my head round it. Ray throws a fit if I let Rosa have a temporary tattoo--and he has rubbed her back raw trying to get them off--but on the other hand he gives her makeup!

He says tattoos--even temporary ones--aren't "ladylike". But apparently in his mind makeup on a five-year-old is. To me it's oversexualization of a child, or at the very least introducing conventional 'femininity' way too early. (Which would be "ever".)

As an aside, apparently I can spell feminininity but I don't seem to know when to stop.

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